Created by: Mrighdeep Lamba
Directed by: Simarpreet Singh
Starring: Elnaaz Norouzi, Varun Sharma, Manjot Singh, Tanya Maniktala, Gautam Mehra, Kshitij Chauhan
Written by: Mrighdeep Lamba and Amit Babbar
Streaming on: Sony Liv
CHUTZPAH is a web show that follows a few different stories but are somehow interconnected, mainly because of the internet. The series tells us about the dark side of the internet. Kevin (Gautam Mehra) aspires to be a social media influencer and is obsessed with the number of likes, shares, and comments on his posts, as well as drawing the attention of a well-known influencer, Deepali (Aashima Mahajan). While his flat mate, Prateek (Kshitij Chauhan) is an active user of dating apps with the sole aim of getting laid with the most attractive ladies in his town. At the same time, in contrast to him is Rishi (Manjot Singh) a shy guy who spends his life stalking Richa (Pranali Rathod) and trying hard to talk to her, while the rest of the time he spends on watching porn. On one such website that he registers, he comes across Wild Butterfly (Elnaaz Norouzi), a girl who satisfies his desires while also serving as his life coach. There is also Vikas (Varun Sharma), now residing in Boston trying to work on a long distance relationship with his college time girlfriend Shikha (Tanya Maniktala).
The basic plot and point of this show is to venture out and explore the dark side of the internet, but it barely manages to scratch the surface. They’re neither bold nor brave in telling this story, because the outcome would have been completely different otherwise. Also, after watching this I find it debatable whether to tell a dark story as this a comedy route is the best way to go, although in a lot of cases and stories it works, but this is not the case. I did enjoy the comic relief offered in the show but it was mainly due to the antics and theatrics of the talented pool of actors and not because of the writing. The characters can be relatable but the story is not so much. A lot of things seem to be forced into this show leaving it very cramped. To top it all, the only thing consistent about this show is its inconsistency.
Technically, the show is fine. Cinematography is appropriate. The editing had a scope to improve. The whole writing process should have been reworked. Music doesn’t really have a place in a show such as this. The production design and costume design are realistic.
Performances are what make this CHUTZPAH bearable. Varun Sharma and Manjot Singh are brilliant as ever. They’re in their own comfortable zone and hence it was an easy task for them and not to mention that their comic timing is great and on point. Gautam Mehra plays his role with great conviction. He put in a lot of effort and it shows. Tanya Maniktala does well and is endearing, despite her limited screen time. Kshitij Chauhan plays his role equally well. Elnaaz Norouzi has a great screen presence and adds to the oomph factor, especially considering the role she plays.
Director Simarpreet Singh doesn’t really bring anything fresh to the table and fails to even get this show running.